Monday, November 21, 2011

Joy Street Open Studios

Yesterday I had a slightly rushed but still wonderfully edifying trip through Joy Street open studios. Even though I was only there for about an hour, and missed several wonderful artists that I wanted to see, I still had a lot of interesting conversations and came out of it inspired to try new things. The first studio I went into was Elizabeth Heide's, where I was drawn in by the intriguing textures in her work. She uses a variety of printmaking techniques in her work, and was kind enough to explain some of them to me during my visit, particularly gum arabic printing, in which you apply a layer of gum over a photocopied image and then ink, wipe and print it. I've used gum arabic for photo printing before, but I hadn't heard of printing with it.

I also spoke at length with Ji-eun Shim, whose does 2-D work that incorporates repetitive markmaking as well as a variety of 3-D sculptural explorations. Her work is incredibly creative, and I was inspired just standing in her studio. She works with some unusual materials such as twigs and grains - there was one amazing repetitive wall piece done in what appeared to be barley. It reminded me that someday I should try doing twig sculptures again, if I can figure out a way for them not to dry out and fall apart -- I recently lost one of my favorite ones when it fell apart out of the blue. One more project to put on my list for when I have more time...

 Ji-eun Shim, Monster Seeds

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